Monday, October 26 – Wednesday, October 28

Working like crazy, with an interruption. 

Monday and Wednesday were very very tough days. It was Week Two of that ultra-hard cycle at my main job, and any faint hopes that the second week would be easier quickly vanished. Both days I worked almost nonstop from 7 to just about 3. Monday I took a break of about 15 minutes for lunch, Wednesday barely 10. Mere words cannot describe how bad this cycle has been. Thankfully the next one will be better, though I will be missing three days of it when I go to Florida.

As for the Major Home Improvement Retailer, I worked 4:30 to 8:30 on Monday and 4:30 to 9 on Wednesday. Neither shift had much in common with the other. Monday was fairly busy, though not in a bad way. There was a moderate amount of freight to handle, and being the only employee on duty in garden i waited on customers as well. And the store was unusually busy for a Monday.

Wednesday was completely the opposite. There was no freight, another employee was on duty in the department for most of my shift, and last but not least heavy rain kept most of the customers away. All of which meant that my shift absolutely dragged. Five hours that seemed more like ten. To say that I was ecstatic when my shift finally ended would be a huge understatement.

I didn’t mention Tuesday because it wasn’t like the other days. In fact I didn’t work at all, but instead made a quick trip into Manhattan. As usual, we parked at my secret spot in Queens and took the subway inton Manhattan. Among much else the trip featured a walk along the High Line, which I really enjoy. Traffic getting back was definitely no picnic, but I didn’t care because it totally beat working!

Published in: on October 30, 2015 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, October 24 – Sunday, October 25

Two run of the mill, un-memoriable days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Saturday was a standard 8-hour shift, 9:15 to 5:45. As it was quite busy for the first half of the shift, time went by pretty fast. Standard customer service sort of work, and I noted with some bemusement  that the customers seemed to be in pretty good moods. Most of them I mean. There were a few who were less pleasant, but not many. I’d say it was people getting into the Christmas spirit, but it’s too early for that. Even if all the decorations and lighrs are on the shelves.

Sunday was easier in that I had a five and a half hour shift, 9:15 to 2:15.Strangely enough it seemed.longer than Saturday’s full shift. It’s probably because I was a lot less busy. Customer flow was about the same as the day before but there were more people on duty in the garden department.

Later on Sunday I booked a flight for a quick trip I have to make to Florida next month. Leaving on November 5 and returning the 10th. Amazingly, a round trip flight cost less than $300. That is a terrific deal, especially considering it’s on a full service airline (Delta) rather than a discount carrier.

Published in: on October 30, 2015 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, October 21 – Friday, October 23

Return to semi-normalcy

Work was a bit easier on Wednesday and Thursday than it had been earlier in the week. Not that it could have been much harder. This was quite fortunate, as I was physically quite weak and run down, especially on Thursday. I didn’t have to stay past normal quitting time at my main job, and was able to take my normal allotted break each day. Yes, I had to work very hard, but that was okay.

On Thursday I had a five-hour shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, 5 to 10. Given my rundown physical condition I was really worried that I’d have another “special project” like Monday’s horror show. Well.something was running in my favor, as all I had to do was my normal stuff. What a relief!

Friday was my day off, and I did some errands but nothing too taxing. Physically I was better but still.not nearly back to normal. I decided against going to the gym.

Published in: on October 26, 2015 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, October 19 – Tuesday, October 20

Ugh. Double ugh. Triple ugh.

Monday was an absolutely unequivocally wretched day. There’s no way to put an even remotely positive spin on it.

I was really dragging right from the start, with a sore throat and constantly aching muscles. As I headed into my main job I was hoping, really wishful thinking, that my expectations for a tough work cycle would be proven wrong. Maybe it would be tolerable.

My expectations were not wrong. I had a nearly overwhelming amount of work to get done. To finish it all I had to work almost nonstop from 7 to 3:15, taking only one break of less than ten minutes. About the only good thing is that I had no trouble getting the authorization for 45 overtime minutes.

My relief at getting out was short lived, as I had to be at the Major Home Improvement Retailer at 5. As I headed in I was hoping that my shift, which would last until 10, would be a decent one like the weekend shifts had been. Of course I was wrong. During the day the nursery had removed most of the plants in the outside garden area, and my assigned task was to break down the tables which had held the plants.

It was not remotely pleasant. Each of the several tables was about three feet wide and 12 feet long, comprised of long planks or heavy steel gratings resting on a base of concrete blocks. I had to remove the planks, which are both heavy and awkward, and put them in a pile to be banded. As for the concrete blocks, I had to arrange them in alternating patterns on pallets, which then I had to shrink


wrap. It was backbreaking work, and I could barely walk by the time the shift ended.

Tuesday was both worse and better than Monday had been. Worse, in that I was physically run down and in almost constant pain. I also had to stay an hour late at my main job as compared to 45 minutes on Monday. At least I got a full half hour break, and best of all I wasn’t on the schedule at the MHIR. It would have been a good opportunity to go to the gym, but physically there was just no way.

Published in: on October 23, 2015 at 1:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, October 17 – Sunday, October 18

I’d have to say these were two fairly easy days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Although I worked eight hours on Saturday and seven on Sunday, they didn’t seem too bad. I started at 8:30 on Saturday and 9:15 on Sunday, which are pretty good hours. I didn’t have to get up too early and was finished at a decent hour each day.

As for the work itself, it wasn’t bad. In addition to the usual customer service stuff I helped pack away the last of the Christmas items. There’s one more big delivery coming, but not for a couple of weeks, by which time the existing inventory should be sold down to some extent. Yes, even in the middle of October people were buying decorations and lights.

The one down side to an otherwise decent weekend was that I seemed to be coming down with something, as I was coughing and sneezing and didn’t have much energy. This unfortunately put the kibosh on my plans to go to the gym. Going after an 8-hour MHIR shift is tough even when I’m 100%. When I’m not, it’s almost impossible.

Published in: on October 23, 2015 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, October 14 – Friday, October 16

Oh, what anticipation! 

Wednesday and Thursday were the last two days of the current two-week work cycle at my main job. While I was reasonably busy each day, it wasn’t too bad. This has been a decent cycle.

The next one, well that will be an entirely different story. I found out on Thursday that the next cycle will be brutal. As in, more work than anyone can ever be expected to handle while retaining at least some shred of sanity. It is likely that I will have to stay past my normal 2:30 quitting time on at least some days.  That means extra money, to be sure, but it also means having to secure overtime permission. That’s not always easy. I also don’t know how things will work out with my schedule at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. There are three, possibly four 4:30 starts. Well, at least things won’t be boring.

Speaking of the MHIR, I was off on Wednesday but worked 4:30 to 8:30 on Thursday. Lo and behold it was a “normal” shift with no special projects. What a relief.

Friday was of course my usual day off. During the day I got the brakes done on my car, not exactly thrilling but at least I have a Kindle app on my phone and did some reading. Later in the afternoon I went to the gym for the first time since Monday (I had been otherwise occupied on Wednesday). I did bench pressing and it went well: 6 × 135, 6 × 155, 6 × 185, 4 x 205, 6 ×  225, 3 × 4 x 225, 8 × 185.  After that I did some machine flies for a bit extra work.

Published in: on October 21, 2015 at 2:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, October 12 – Tuesday, October 13

Enough with the projects! 

Although I didn’t have Columbus Day off from my regular job, Monday was still a decent day. Traffic was somewhat lighter than usual, and the workday itself was reasonably good. I wasn’t able to leave earlier than usual but didn’t have to rush through things too much. I went to the gym in the early evening and tiptoed  (so to speak) back into deadlifting. Very carefully, I should add. In fact I used a ground-based shrug/deadlifting machine rather than a barbell. My plan is to get a bit more accustomed to the motions involved in a deadlift before moving onto a barbell.

Tuesday was another fairly ordinary day at my main job. Traffic was a lot heavier than it had been the day before, that was for sure. I then had a fairly long shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, 4:30 to 10. On the way in I was planning to ask my department head, whom I had seen would be on the schedule, if I could leave at 8:30 instead. Of course that didn’t happen. The department head had changed his schedule and therefore wasn’t working, and I did not want to ask the manager on duty. Preparations for the Christmas reset were in full swing, with the overnight crew arriving around 9. As for me, I did a variety of tasks, including moving pallets of Christmas stuff with a pallet jack and holding the safety warning flags for a forklift operator. It wasn’t bad work, and was much cleaner than the other projects I’ve done recently, but still, I’d really like to do my regular stuff for a change.


Published in: on October 16, 2015 at 3:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, October 10 – Sunday, October 11

Any hopes that the weekend might bring any relief from the endless parade of “special projects” at the Major Home Improvement Retailer were distinctly short-lived. I started at 8:30 on Saturday morning and wasn’t there an hour before I got assigned to moving around fire logs in the “greenhouse” area. It turns out that a crew will be coming in on Tuesday night to set up Christmas displays, yes it’s that early, and the space currently occupied by the fire logs will be given over to other things that will be displaced by the Christmas stuff.

All of which meant that I spent three hours moving a seemingly limitless amount of fire logs. And they aren’t light, with some cartons weighing as much as 45 pounds. I originally had sone ideas about going to the gym after my shift ended at 5, but needless to say my enthusiasm vanished.

Sunday wasn’t much better. I worked 1:30 to 9, and my main project was cleaning two bays in the outside garden area that held bags of stone. Things like marble chips and decorative pond pebbles. It might have been a tolerable task, except that many of the bags had ripped and there were stones everywhere. It was exhausting dirty work, the only good thing is that I got to used a leaf blower to clean out the dust left over after sweeping. Hey, it’s fun

Published in: on October 16, 2015 at 2:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, October 8 – Friday, October 9

Enough withat these projects, okay?

Thursday was really two different days when it came to work. At my regular job, it was one of those days best described as BBT (busy but tolerable ). I was able to finish by my normal quitting time, but had to hustle a bit to get to that point. Days like that are fine by me.

My prediction was that my shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer would be a breeze because I was only doing 4:30 to 8:30. How bad can four hours be, right? Turns out that it could be quite bad indeed. There was another person on duty in garden, who could handle customer service stuff, while I got (ugh!) yet another Special Assignment. How thrilling.

It involved these four metal cages holding rolls of landscape fabric. My chore was to move them from ground level to a shelf about 10 feet off the ground, using a lit platform. I had to empty each one out, slide the empty, c. 60 pound cage on the platform – they barely fit –  and.raise them to the new level. As the four cages had less than an inch of horizontal clearance in the bay it took a lot of maneuvering to get them all into place. And then I had to restock them with the fabric rolls. It took over two hours of complete the move, and about another 90 minutes to move some other items in the aisle and print out new price tags. On a brighter note, when I finally finished my shift was just about over.

Friday was of course my sacrosanct day off from both jobs. I did various and sundry things during the day, and we had a late lunch at this new place, Noodles and Company. Very good and very reasonable. In the evening I went to the gym for some back work. Like last time I started with neutral grip pull ups, 2 × 4, 2 × 3, 2 × 2. Still nothing outstanding, but progress. I supplemented the pull ups with cable rows and Hammer Strength machine rows.


Published in: on October 13, 2015 at 1:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, October 5 – Wednesday, October 7

Tiptoeing back

These three days were for the most part fairly quiet ones. No high drama or anything close thereto. Which is completely fine by me. I’m scarcely the sort who dislikes new adventures, but sometimes routine us good.

Actually these weren’t entirely ordinary days. On Tuesday and Wednesday I did some different tasks at my regular job, things I haven’t done before in three and a half years  (has it been THAT long??) with the company. Nonetheless the days seem unexceptional because it was neither difficult nor time consuming to perform these new duties. They were fairly interesting too, though not likely to recur too often. Monday had been strictly conventional.

Tuesday was my only shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, 4:45 to 10. Most of it was pretty easy, waiting on customers with some light freight work. Around 9, however, I was assigned to help another worker change some shelf heights. That’s a tough job, as it involves moving heavy gratings, and then unbolting croas beams  Fortunately, by the time we got started it was about 9:15, so less than 45 minutes later my shift was over.

What I’m most pleased with is that I made two gym trips, on Monday and Wednesday. While there have been many false alarms, I really am trying to be more focused and diligent. On Monday I did neutral grip pull ups for the first time in months. It wasn’t possible to do many, just 2 × 4 and 2 × 3, but that will get better. I did machine high rows for additional back work.

Wednesday was some halfway good bench pressing, 6 × 135, 6 × 155, 6 × 185, 4 x 205, 3 × 4 x  225, 8 × 185. To supplement this I also did Hammer Strength MTS shoulder presses, 4 x 6 × 100/100 and some machine flies.

Published in: on October 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment